High school students from the Hudson County Science Fair in New Jersey attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2014 as Student Observers with Society Fellow Marie Aloia, and sent the Society for Science & the Public blog posts about their experience all week.
By Abanoub Boules and Masamitsu Umeki, Student Observers, Intel ISEF 2014
Today, all of the Student Observers volunteered for the Education Outreach program at Public Day. We got up bright and early and headed to the convention center to volunteer. During the outreach day, local students visited the convention center to see all the varied and unique finalists’ projects. We Observer volunteers had two main jobs during the outreach day. One was to guide the schools around the convention center to see the Expo and the finalists’ booths, and the second was working with a partner at various spots around the finalists’ booths to stamp the visiting students’ passports.
I was responsible for stamping the students’ passport when they visited the projects in the Environmental Science section. I found this activity to be quite a lot of fun because I greeted the students wearing a squid hat that I bought on my trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific yesterday. I was partnered with an Observer who was from an island under the control of the United States. I had a marvelous time chatting with the fellow as we did our job of stamping.
Tonight, we took the first shuttle available to the Special Awards ceremony, so we could get good seats. During the Special Awards, one of our new friends earned several awards, including the NASA award and a college scholarship. I was especially impressed by the award from CERN. This is something that I would love to win someday, because I like to do science projects in physics. Some of the full college scholarship awards must have been worth more than $50,000. This motivates me to come back again to the Intel ISEF!
By Marie Aloia
I earned my keep again at Intel ISEF by working parking lot duty on Public Day dressed in the “full gear.” I was wired for radio, like I worked for the CIA, with sunglasses and a hat, and a yellow safety vest to complete the outfit. We greeted dozens of yellow school buses, some of which had spent nearly 3 hours on the road, with “Welcome to Intel ISEF!” and “Are you ready to see the coolest science projects on the planet?” We guided them across the street, building excitement as we went. Someone asked me “you really like your job, huh?” and why not I thought! When you are there to serve, even taking out the trash can be exciting.
After we guided all the visitors safely into the hall I had a short break before my afternoon duties to visit the new additions to the Expo hall, including the live animals. I got to pet the tarantula. I also got to pick up several interesting things to show my students. I finished the day watching the awards with some of my students, and like some of them, hoped to return next year.